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Died: Sun., May 2, 2010

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Stephen J. Papa Sr., 92, of New Haven passed away May 2, 2010 in St. Raphael's Hospital. He was the beloved husband of Helen Lupoli Papa. Mr. Papa was born in New Haven July 24, 1917, son of the late John H. and Lucy Merola Papa. He was a 1936 graduate of Hillhouse High School, and attended So. Conn. State University and Stone Business College. He was an active member of the CT. National Guard during World War II. Addition to his career in the family fruit business, Papa & Sons Open Air Market at Chapel and Orchard St. in New Haven, he served as vice president of the William Hotchkiss Co. and was an active real estate developer in New Haven and surrounding towns. Active in community affairs, he chaired the New Haven Board of Education for 10 years; served on the Public Housing Commission for 8 years; City Plan Commission for 6 years and New Haven Welfare Board for 4 years. He championed the ACES program to improve public education; was active in the Livable Cities Initiative and initiated and chaired the Dwight Neighborhood Development Corporation. He volunteered at the Hospital of St. Raphael and Grimes/St. Regis Health Care Center for many years. He was a Life Member of The Amity Club, Past President of the Exchange Club and a life member of Commodore John Barry Assembly, 4th Degree, Knights of Columbus. He also served as Republican Town Chairman. Well known for his role as Santa Claus, he lit the Christmas Tree on the Green for 67 consecutive years. He also played the role of Christopher Columbus in the annual Columbus Day celebration. He was honored by having the corner of Chapel and Orchard St. designated as "Stephen J. Papa Corner". Besides his wife of 68 years, he is survived by two sons, Atty. John S. (Rosemary) Papa of Manchester and Stephen J. (Carol) Papa Jr. of Branford; a daughter, Patricia Sweeney of Portland, Maine; two brothers, Arthur (Elizabeth) Papa of Orange and John Papa of San Francisco; a sister, Paula Caruso of North Haven; 7 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. He was predeceased by two sisters, Rose Thomas and Mary Avitable. Friends may call at The Celentano Funeral Home, 424 Elm St. (cor. Dwight) New Haven Wednesday from 3 to 8 pm and are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Brendan's Church, 455 Whalley Ave., New Haven Thursday, May 6th at 10:00. Interment in St. Lawrence Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Stephen J. Papa Fund, c/o St. Raphael's Foundation, 1450 Chapel St., New Haven, CT 06511.

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